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Luis was one of the first Kiva borrowers I interviewed as a fellow at ACCION USA.  His sincerity and open heart are noticeable from the very beginning.

When Kiva’s president Premal Shah came to NYC during the domestic launch he had a chance to meet Luis.  As Premal, Gina Harman (ACCION USA CEO), Paul Quintero (ACCION USA CFO), and I began to talk to Luis about his road to entrepreneurship, his true story unfolded.

Luis faced many hardships coming to this country and building a life for himself. On September 11, 2001 he made a delivery to the World Trade Centers and left just minutes before the first plane hit. Luis survived, his delivery van did not.

Through a unique loan progam offered by ACCION USA after 9/11, microentreprenuers like Luis were able to get funding to get their businesses back up and running after the tragic day. ACCION USA’s American Dream Fund supported over 300 small business owners after the crisis of September 11.

Watch the rare video as Luis tells his story of entrepreneurship and talks about his experiences on that tragic day. It is a testament to the role that small business played in helping New York recover after 9/11.

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Erica Dorn coordinates the Kiva Program at ACCION USA. She is a former Kiva Fellow. edorn@accionusa.org

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